Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pumpkin Surprise

We've come a long way down the culinary road since Benjamin took his first bite of solid food. Sure, he may still be eating something that looks like white mush, but at least he's eating it with a spoon now. And if you replace "eating" with "wiping 99% of it all over his face and getting 1% of it into his mouth," then that would be about right.

Poor table manners notwitstanding, it's been interesting to see how Benjamin's tastes have evolved. His list of favorite foods include carrots, french fries, roast beef, shitake mushrooms, Asian fishcake, waffles, cheese, eggs, bananas, ravioli, chow mein noodles, and - most recently - what I like to call "Pumpkin Surprise."

Pumpkin Surprise is surprisingly easy to make - you mix a sauce of pure pumpkin and whole milk with pasta and veggies of your choice. I can't take credit for this meal; a mom in my Friday class mentioned it as a surefire way to get her picky daughter to eat pasta. I can only take credit for dubbing the dish "Pumpkin Surprise." After all, it sounds more palatable than "pasta and veggies with mushed-up pumpkin and milk, right? Ok, maybe "palatable" isn't quite the word to describe it. I'll admit that I'm not too fond of it myself, but Benjamin really likes it.

Correction: Benjamin really LOVES it. It takes him mere minutes to hoover down a plate of Pumpkin Surprise. And in between each bite, he pauses to cackle like a madman while making appreciative grunting and "mmmmm"-ing noises. You could say that Pumpkin Surprise is to Benjamin as crack is to crack fiend.

Because Benjamin requires ample floorspace on which to enjoy his new favorite dish, poor Oliver has to be locked out of the kitchen. I'm not sure that the pug is even partial to pumpkin, but I wouldn't be surprised if he were. He's never been known to have picky tastes. As you can see from the below pictures, the fact that someone else is eating it is usually a good enough reason for him to want a bite for himself.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Look Who's Walking: Part 2

Remember that post in which I described the exciting moment Benjamin started walking? Yeeeah, I didn't realize that at the time, but what he was doing wasn't really walking. It was more like stepping. In the nearly two months since I wrote that post, he'd been taking a step here, a step there, maybe two or three little steps in a row, which amounts to a whole lot of stumbling around, but no real walking. Also, the steps had to be coaxed out of him with great effort, cajoling, and bribery on my part.

Well, now there is no doubt about it: Benjamin really is walking. Sure, his movements may have the hesitant, staggering qualities of a drunkard's, but they're deliberate and purposeful enough to get him from Point A to Point B, and that, my friends, is WALKING!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

When I first found out I was pregnant with Benjamin, I used to daydream about what traits he'd inherit. I was hoping he's get Vince's calm temperament, analytical abilities, and resourcefulness, but not his long list of food aversions. From me, I was hoping he'd inherit a love for singing and the arts, but not neurotic need for constant order. So far, it seems like he is mellow like Vince, but with a loud voice like mine, AND he likes to eat carrots, which is one of the many foods on Vince's "Will Not Eat" list. Benjamin also seems to be developing into something of an artist, too. So far so good!

At class on Friday, the kids got a chance to try painting. I use the term "painting" very loosely, because it wasn't actual paint that they were using; it was chocolate and vanilla pudding.

At first, Benjamin obliged me by using his paintbrush to dutifully smear the pudding onto his paper.

Before long, however, he realized that his paint was actually a delicious dessert, and he started using his paintbrush as an eating utensil.

After a few minutes, he ditched the brush and just used his hand to scoop chocolate pudding into his mouth. I suppose that that would be Vince's resourcefulness coming through in him.

Choking back laughter, I told Benjamin that he was making a mess, at which point, he stopped using his hands and resumed eating with his paintbrush again. Perhaps he thought that his messiness could be overlooked if he were using an eating utensil like a civilized individual!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beastie Nuts

My life has recently been taken over by Beasties. My friends have noticed that my response time to emails has grown longer. My husband is actually complaining that he's had too much free time to play video games. And last, but not least, I haven't written a proper blog post in two weeks. TWO WEEKS! There is a lot of catching up to do.

The madness started when my dear friend Lisa agreed to let me borrow her sewing machine. After a quick tutorial at her place, I was off and sewing up a storm.
Benjamin was very curious about the shiny, whirring new toy, but I wouldn't let him play with it, so he decided to play with my case filled with spools of colored thread instead. Better that than my sewing shears, I suppose.
The first Beastie to be born from Lisa's machine was Boo Beastie, followed by Nolan Beastie. Soon after, Beasties based on my friends Deb and Yvonne were born, as well as a set Beasties based on those creepy Grady twins from the Shining.

And of course, there were Beasties based on the first little Beastie to ever win over my heart.

The pug-based Beasties have been the most popular ones so far! They receive the highest number of views in my online shop, and they have also sold the most quickly. Both Oliver Beastie and the Claude and Maude Beastie set sold within hours of being posted. This only confirms what I've always known: pug lovers are an obsessed bunch!
Beastie-making hasn't been the only thing I've been doing these past few weeks. We had a playdate with new friends Novella and Max at mom Jennie's house. Buddy Kayla and mom Sheila were also there. Benjamin made himself right at home by relieving himself in Max's blue potty.

We caught up with old friends, too. Benjamin and I met Lucy Catherine at our favorite coffee spot. Afterwards, we hung out at the park, where Lucy wowed us with her amazingly advanced verbal skills. I had to pick my jaw up off of the ground when she very clearly articulated the words "Thank you" to me when I handed her something she'd dropped. It's one thing to be able to understand your own toddler when he he says "da-de" which you know means "na ge" which means "that" in Chinese. (Confused yet?) It's something else when you can understand another person's toddler. I don't know what mom Cath is feeding Lucy, but I want some of it!

In addition to hanging out with friends, we spent quality time with family, too. The boys enjoyed an Easter egg hunt in my sister-in-law Adele's backyard. We discovered that Benjamin somehow inherited my neurosis about sitting on grass. Every time we put him down on it, he'd grimace and try to pull his legs up. We wound up picking him up, which was fine with his cousins, because it meant that they'd a larger share of Easter eggs!

And in the midst of all the sewing and playdates and Easter egg hunts, Vince and I were able to get away for a double date - a Clippers game with good friends Julie and Shawn . It was fantastic to be able to take a break from parenthood and enjoy a game with friends. It was even more fantastic that we got to enjoy the game from a suite in the Staples center. Sweet! The evening wasn't entirely free of kiddy antics, though. A boy in the adjacent suite kept whipping off his shirt and then gyrating his bare torso in a desperate attempt to get on the jumbotron. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him when his efforts failed to yield him any screentime.

Kid, there's a lesson to be learned in there: nudity doesn't pay.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Boo Beasties

Yes, yes, yes, it's been a while since my last post. No, I'm not on vacation. Yes, everyone is just fine. I've just been busy. Very, very busy. I've come to the realization that I'm not content passing my days lounging around in a housecoat with curlers in my hair and a bowl of bonbons in my hand. I've decided that it's time for me to put to good use my creative skills, my obsession with clothing, my offbeat sense of humour, and my friend Lisa's neglected sewing machine... and launch a business.

I promise I'll be back posting again in no time. For now, I'm off to dream up my next creepy yet endearing creation. Buahahahaha!!